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Key information:


Birthdate: November 8, 30 CE

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 68.4)

Birthplace: Narni, Italy

(Sextus Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus, Nerva)

Reign: Nerva was declared emperor by the Roman senate on September 18, 96 CE, following the assasination of Domitian.

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 68.1) (Inscription, Fasti Ostienses)

Death: Nerva died of natural causes in Rome on January 27, 98 CE.

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 68.4) (Sextus Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus, Nerva)

Portrait of Nerva in Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome, 2nd December 2018
Bust of Nerva, Palazzo Altemps, 25th April 2019
Statue of Nerva, NY Carlsberg Glyptothek, Copenhagen, 16th September 2018

Famous facts and dates

Nerva helped uncover the Pisonian conspiracy, an attempt to overthrow emperor Nero. As a reward for his service, he was given triumphal honors.
(Tacitus, Annals, 15.72)
It can be assumed that Nerva was involved in the plot to assassinate his predecessor, Domitian. Cassius Dio claims that Nerva had prior knowledge of the plot, and the Roman senate declared him emperor only a few hours after Domitian’s death.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 67.15)
Nerva was unpopular with the military and was taken hostage by the praetorian guard in 97 CE. To appease the soldiers, he adopted the popular general Trajan as his son and heir.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 68.3)


Related monuments in Rome

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Cite this page as: Darius Arya, The American Institute for Roman Culture, “Nerva” Ancient Rome Live. Last modified 07/08/2022.


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